Rob Halford Discusses Jimmy Page’s Impact On Heavy Metal


Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford spoke to Chaoszine and shared his thoughts about the roots of heavy metal by mentioning a very famous band from the genre. The frontman drew attention to Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page‘s influence on the music with one of his riffs.

Heavy metal music developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s thanks to blues-rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock roots. It became a prominent and distinctive genre with the bands and musicians’ distortion, extended guitar solos, loudness, and emphatic beats. Heavy metal’s pioneers are Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple, and the bands like Van Halen, KISS, Judas Priest, with many more followed these groups.

So, according to Halford, Black Sabbath could be the first heavy metal band that became a genre definer with their self-titled debut studio album, which came out on February 13, 1970, in the UK. The singer stated that it included many elements of underground metal, which would be an example for many artists. Even though some people saw Blue Cheer’s ‘Summertime Blues’ as one of the firsts, Black Sabbath’s music was darker.

Furthermore, as the person who defined ‘Led Zeppelin II’ as the album that changed his life, Halford also emphasized Page’s guitar riff on a track from the same album, ‘Whole Lotta Love.’ The Judas Priest singer admitted that it’s normal to think that Page’s creation and performance impacted heavy metal music. He added that the genres such as electric rock and metal changed and evolved very quickly at that time.

Halford shared his ideas, saying:

It’s gotta be Black Sabbath. I guess Black Sabbath, in the definition of metal, the very first Sabbath album, there were little bits of suggestions of other kinds of underground metal. Some people say that one of the first songs ever made was ‘Summertime Blues’ by Blue Cheer. It was that tipping point between heavy electric music. Then it started to get deeper and darker, and the riffs were becoming more prominent; however, in terms of riff definition, Black Sabbath.

Could you argue that some of those roots came from Jimmy Page? I don’t know. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ that’s a heavy riff. It’s a very interesting time of transition between electric rock when electric rock was getting stronger. It all happened. All seemed to happen very quickly. We found this foundation stone, and everything took off quickly.”

You can check out the interview and song below.